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tv   The Stream  Al Jazeera  May 18, 2014 4:30am-5:01am EDT

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>> reporter: her house no longer stands, her home will never leave her. that story and the rest of our day's news can be found on the website. hi, i'm lisa fletcher, and you are in "stream", we're here to talk about why the global fight for one of the most intelligent animals isn't over year. and why are the u.s. and russia the only countries in the world who's militaries use dolphins? are questions of ethics changing as public expectations shift in the wake of the cove and black fish? we discuss right now.
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♪ myco host and digital producer is here bringing in your feedback throughout the show. waj this is one of those issues that almost has universal interest with people. we have didn't inundated with comments ever since this. >> yeah, doing shows like this gives me research and incite into what is happening. and we have this great quotation from rick . . . and our community responded on facebook. >> well, they are perhaps the most intelligent mammals in the
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animal kingdom after humans. they consistently leave scientists in awe. their abilities have caught the attention of the u.s. military for decades who have utilized them under the marine dolphin program. they are valued for their echo detection abilities, and are alleged to even plant land mine devices on hulls and even kill enemy divers. a story in russia claims that dolphins with headed to russian waters to form a perimeter around a missile destroyer. the navy denied the claim entirely. our guest rick knows all too much about this activity. after being part of the activity himself as a dolphin trainer.
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he was in the 2010 academy award documentary, the cove. >> i feel somewhat responsible, because it was the flipper tv series that created this multi-billion dollars industry. it created this desire to swim with them, kiss them, and hold them, and hug them, and love them to death. >> rick, welcome to the program. >> thanks for having me. >> in terms of the main stream international community, you are probably best known for your work to stop the slaughter of dolphins, i.e., the documentary "the cove," but you have been at this for decades. you have been fighting to stop the military use of dolphins. give us an idea of the historical use of dolphins in the military. >> we have used them since the late 50s, and during the flipper years, i was approached by two
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members of the company, and they tried to recruit me into that program. i thought the company was mgm when the manager said there's a couple of guys from the company who want to meet you. but the company means the cia. >> oh, really. >> the cia started that program. and they showed me black and white photographs of what they are doing. 16 millimeter footage, and 35 millimeter slides. that? >> i found it morally repugnant. and i didn't agree to join in their effort. i can't tell you what i saw, because i signed a document stating it's a $50,000 fine and 10 years in jail if you reveal it. but it's not good. it's not good for dolphins and
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it needs to be replaced with side-scan sonar which is far more dependable than dolphins. dolphins are really not that dependable. i could actually guest past those century dolphins and get to that submarine with no problem. it's a faulty weapon system. one way to get at the submarine is a simple fire extinguisher. if you blast it the dolphins will take off in every direction possible. so it's a faulty weapon system, and it doesn't work, and it should be replaced. >> you spent some time in san diego at the facility. do you know any of the dolphins there personally? >> i don't know them. but i met them. and they were in 24 by 24 foot cages, and that in itself is abusive.
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they don't have to do anything with them-to-be -- participate in the abuse, just having them in this polluted san diego bay in a small cage is abusive. and we taxpayers pay for this. >> our community has some pushback . . . and we had some critical pushback from spencer akerman. give this a listen. >> doesn't use dolphins or any of ah kwau ticket mammal for offensive purposes, they train dolphins and sea lions to do things like harbor searches for mines or suspicious divers. >> what is your response? a lot of people say we use dogs, police use dogs, so why dolphins? >> with due respect to the journalist who stated that.
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he only knows what he knows. what they told him. ho doesn't know what he doesn't know. so we have used dolphins in vietnam, in the persian gulf and not all of them returned from. >> why are they called advanced biological systems. >> there it is. consider the obvious. they don't call them dolphins they call them advanced biological weapons systems. duh. that's should tell the story right here. >> we have navy video of you at one of the navy test sites. >> you are holding up a do you understand? ♪ >> oh, boy. rick? >> that was off of key west in a marine sanctuary actually. it's called ship, shock testing. and the float that you see me
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hanging on. i held on to that for like 24 hours. i swam out to it, about seven miles from the sea plane that dropped me off. and hanging below that red float is a bomb the size of this desk. and they explode these bombs to test our submarine hulls. very important work. we need to do that. we need to test these hulls for, but not there. the mouth of the mississippi river would be a better place, because it's a dead zone. there's nothing alive there anymore. so we -- but it just goes to show that activism actually works. >> you were in the sanctuary. >> i was in the sanctuary, and we were able to stop that ship shock test. they don't do that anymore. works. >> our community had no idea that there was a marine mammal program, $28 million the go spendings to use the dolphins and ann has a question, do these
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dolphins die? and does the military hurt them? >> yes, the military hurts them. these are civilian contractors by the way who are making a lot system. >> so we're talking about private contractors? >> yeah, it's a private contractor in san diego that -- a lot of these military programs are sort of a black budget. they can get as much money as they won't and nobody has to know about it. and i think that's why dolphins are in the navy, it's all about money and jobs and jobs and money. side scan sonar is much more effective and more dependable than a dolphin. >> what is side scan sonar? >> it's a way of using sonar -- we're using it right now to try to find the missing airliner that is still missing. so we don't need dolphins to
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protect nuclear submarines. abusive. >> we did reach out to the u.s. military to comment or come on response. >> and by the way i wanted people to know that i spent five of the most important year of my life in the navy. i like the navy. i'm not against the navy. >> each year from september to may an estimated 20,000 dolphins are killed in japan. they are part of the country's immensely lucrative seafood industry. we're going to discuss at what cost next. and what if anything is changing with the annual dolphin hunt, since the cove brought it to the >> on techknow... >> i'm at the national wind institute, where they can create tornados... >> a greater understanding... >> we know how to design for the
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there's more to finical news than the ups and downs of the dow. for instance, could striking workers in greece delay your retirement? i'm here to make the connections to your money real. ♪ >> they said if the world finds out what goes on here, we'll be shut down. can you imagine that? they actually told us that. we need to get in there and film exactly what happens. we need to know the truth. >> welcome back. that was just a clip from the
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award winning documentary, the cove about the annual dolphin hunt in japan. the cove was really a powerful call to action that awakened millions of people to this issue. what -- what goes on in japan, and why does it happen? >> it's the largest slaughter of dolphins in the world, and it's ground zero for the largest traffic -- the capture of dolphins anywhere in the world. it's the tiegy whale museum which is right next door to the cove. they started selling them from japan to the united states, to sea world, the u.s. navy, those dolphins came from japan. they are not allowed to import them anymore into the united states. the [ inaudible ] institute
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threatened to file a lawsuit against the u.s. fisheries for allowing this. but they are shipping them to other areas. japan is the size of california, and has 51 dolphin areums, and most of them are very sub standard, and they die, and they simply get more. that's the economic underpinning is the capture and sale of live dolphins. i have a graphic here that explains how it works. here is this blue line. this is the dolphin meat. the sale of dolphin meat is dropping dramatically. it was actually 2300, many porpoises. last year they killed 700. >> for meat? >> for meat. >> that's because it is about
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supply and demand just like any other product. and if the japanese people become aware the product is contaminated they will stop buying. but the green line is the sale of live dolphins. dolphin. >> how do you know that? >> because i have the contract faxed to me by two of the city commissioners in tiegy. it's a contract from the whale museum to ocean world casino in the dominican republic for $154,000 for each dolphin. they never obtained the dolphins because the minister of the environment in the dominican republic would not allow them in the country. so, yeah, the sale of live dolphins is rising, and the
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dolphin meat is dropping, and what we need to do is get this multi-billion dollars industry, sea world, sea aquarium to get involved and show up at the cove just like i do. i'll be there sunday. >> but this is all consumer driven, right? so if people still go to these marine parks and see marine animals for entertainment, nothing is going to change. have the expectations in the u.s. shifted? >> yes, especially since these two movies. people see those movies, black fish and the cove, and you can watch it for free online. if they see those films, they might not buy a ticket for a dolphin show, and that's what is going to stop it. it's the consumers who have all of the power. people are waiting for the government to fix this. ands the government is not going
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to fix it. governments protect corporations and not people and other animals. we have to do that. so, but i want to make it clear. sea world is not importing anymore. or none of them are coming into the united states. and i don't want to confuse for with that. they would if they could, i believe. that's my opinion. >> we told our online community, in the united states alone, dolphin areums are an $8.4 billion industry. but rick it obviously isn't that sample. you heard the numbers, the business is booming. how do you convince the consumers in america to stop supporting this with their all mighty dollar?
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>> one of the ways is watching black fish or the cove. there's a new movie coming out by the makers of the cove called six. and i think that will have a major impact also. but it's education and awareness, and that's really what we do. we try to get to the consumers and educate them in the hope that they will stop buying tickets for dolphin shows. >> and you are a perfect example of that, right? you started out as a trainer for flipper and you got educated to what was going on. give people your back story. >> that's true. i went to work at the miami sea aquarium, and very quickly became the head trainer, capturing dolphins and training them. and then flipper came along, and i did that for seven years. i was quite -- quite young. in my 20s. i was making a lot of money. but i knew it was wrong. i didn't know it when i first started.
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it took me a while to figure it out. and that happened because i was watching so many dolphins die. not so many of the flipper dolphins, but all of the other dolphins at the miami sea quarium, we would take the dolphins back to cemetery. i remember taking a star back there and we couldn't find a place to dig a hole. and it dawned on me is anybody keeping track of this. >> lisa we have a tweet from melbourne dolphin. she asks rick . . . >> thank you mel attorney. that's really what our work is about in japan. it's not abc doing combat with the japanese people. it's about working with them and
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supporting their effort. there's a lot of activists in japan who want to takenership of this issue, and we support that. yeah, you need to be doing this. and so working with japanese people, that's the way to go. the same is true in the farrell islands, we know a group of people that want to stop the pilot whale slaughter, but they don't have the resources. change has to happen from within. you can't go over there and bully them into stopping. that is not going to work. you have to work with them and empower them and support them. and a lot of people do that online. the cove has created thousands of activists, and a lot of them are doing this online. there's ways of tweet storms and, you know, getting in touch with ambassador kennedy in japan and -- yeah, there's a thousand things you do online now. >> we're going to bring in a
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guest to the next segment of the show that you are going to love. films like the cove and black fish are definitely koreaing a whole new generation of activists. coming up next, you are going to meet a high schooler who's life changing experience lead to his work with dolphins. you are not going to want to consider this: the news of the day plus so much more. >> we begin with the government shutdown. >> answers to the questions no one else will ask. >> it seems like they can't agree to anything in washington no matter what. >> antonio mora, award winning and hard hitting. >> we've heard you talk about the history of suicide in your family. >> there's no status quo, just the bottom line. >> but, what about buying shares in a professional athlete? real perspective, consider this on al jazeera america
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the night's events, a smarter start to your day. mornings on al jazeera america ♪ >> i never planned on being an activist. one thing leads to another, and now if there is a dolphin in trouble, anywhere in the world, my phone will ring. >> welcome back. we're discussing the global polite of dolphins with a man who has dedicated his life to saving them.
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and joining us now is zach foelter, an 11th grader. thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> you have been an activist since you were in the 6th grade what moved you. >> i went to sea world one day, and i was feeding the dolphins, and i noticed how robotic they were moving. and i unfortunately didn't really care about them right then. so i tricked one of the dolphins on letting me touch it on the head. and it just stared me in the eye, and that started a realization. and then a couple of years later i saw dolphins in hawaii they let us swim with them. and they were jumping out of the water and doing flips, and it was just incredible compared to how they were in captivity. the true grace and beauty of how
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they are in the wild. it just doesn't compare. >> zach even has his own studio. he has his youtube channel. and we have a much of viewers who have tweeted in. this is caroline kennedy's tweet. and we have sea sheperd. it has been retweeted, it has appeared 17,000 times. >> amazing. rick back in 2010 after the cove won the oscar, you unfurled the infamous banner. and we have a picture of me and you with that banner. >> great. >> but how much has social media actually changed this cause?
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>> social media has changed everything. it has just created hundreds of thousandsover activists on all kinds of issues. so it's very, very important. that's the future. what zach is doing -- i am a big fan of people like zach. he represents so much loan. people think the government is going to fix this and that's not going to happen. the government protects corporations not people and other animals. we have to do that. zach is doing that. and that's where social media comes in. >> and people like dominic. >> yes, thank you come to nick. >> i'm representing dominic today. this is dominic, 10 year old activist, please help me stop the slaughters of whales, dolphins, and sales. he says rick is the main reason i got involved. and he has a question for you. i would like to ask . . .
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dominic. >> the most important thing, dominic is to not buy a ticket. it sounds very simplistic. you don't have to do anything. but it is the most important thing. and tell all of your friends. we have people working on -- well, they are doing this on their own in the philippines for example. there is a young senator who is trying to get a law passed so that the school system can't set up these field trips. it's these field trips with the buses -- buses -- a lot of these places would go out of business tomorrow if these buses didn't show up. so there are many people who are working on trying to break these contracts with the school system. the school system are misguided and presenting this as an educational experience, when in
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fact it's a form of bad education. it's the exact opposite of what they are professing. >> zach i know you have a question for rick. >> yes. so i understand that there was an albino dolphin captured on january 18th. what are the future plans for her? are you trying to rehabilitate her and release into the wild. >> yeah, her name is angel, she is an albino. and the last dolphin i captured was an albino, by the name of carolina snowball who only lived about three years at the sea quarium, but i was there recently -- i have to wear a disguise, because they have a big sign at the ticket booth no westerners allowed.
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that's illegal by the way, that's no different than having a sign out here in d.c. that saying no japanese allowed. so i'll be back there sunday, and i'll do my best to monitor her and see if we can get her out of the building. >> and we'll be watching for you. rick thank you so much for joining us today. and take you for being with us as well. until next time, waj and i will be online. ♪ the stream is uniquely interactive television. we depend on you, >> you are one of the voices of this show. >> so join the conversation and make it your own. >> the stream. next on al jazeera america
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and join the conversation online @ajamstream. >> china expresses anger with vietnam as thousands of chinese nationals are helped to leave the country. hello, welcome to al jazeera, life from doha -- live from doha. ahead - apologies from officials in north korea after an apartment block collapse, hundreds feared dead. a race against time to rescue survivors from floods in the balkans, which killed